Growing a Better Apple

In this space I originally posted a rant about Apple’s apparent direction and execution in the mobile device market, based on early experience with iPhone and iTouch 1G. My concerns/complaints were:

  • Apple’s obsoleting of the iTouch 1G after a brief 18 months
  • Apple’s initial direction toward an ultra-closed mobile platform strategy, supporting many small Apple revenue streams per user
  • Apple’s anti-competitive initial offering of iPhone on a single mobile carrier
  • Apple’s insertion of tethered iTunes in the mobile configuration path
  • all of the above exacerbated by lack of competition to force moderation of extreme practices

Apple’s performance in the five intervening years, in the face of increasing competition, has erased these early disappointments.

Whereas Apple’s iTouch 1G effort was the kind of performance that could permanently scare off early adopters, I am happy to say Apple has either changed strategy, or the iTouch 1G was a product aberration that the company successfully swept under the rug. My hand-me-down iPhone 3GS will be four years old this June and it is still fully supported with the latest version of iOS and still operates flawlessly. Obviously a better Apple.

There are free or inexpensive (no subscription fee) apps now that make use of all the platform hardware features I care about. Obviously a better Apple.

I recently have been given a choice of the major carriers’ networks when it comes time for a new iPhone. Further, one carrier will offer the iPhone without a contract. While a subsidized mobile phone seems a no-brainer for most people, those of us who want to keep our phones for more than two years are much better off buying the phone outright than paying contract fees far beyond the device’s full amortization. Obviously a better Apple, and at least one right-thinking carrier.

The noise factor of tethered configuration using iTunes has also dissipated with iCloud configuration.

I love my 3GS (although my mobile tunes still emanate from my 32Gb 1G iTouch, whose very pleasing sound quality belies emanation from such a tiny device). We were gifted an iPad Mini (thanks Owen), so are fully invested in Apple mobile products, to good advantage.

Good job Apple. Your mobile platform may yet qualify as insanely great, a fine recovery after a rocky start. Perhaps time to get some more stock.

2015 – Time for new rant as Apple digresses to the old bad Apple.

On a happy note, my iPhone 3Gs will be 6yo in June and still goes 2 days on a charge. And I did buy more Apple stock. But this new wealth will not tempt me to buy any Apple products soon.

On a sad note, Apple has disappointed me over the last two years through a propensity for dumbing down applications on the Mac to make for a unified experience across mobile and desktop. Mobile is Apple’s future, and the desktop is being thrown under the bus.

Remember when the Apple GUI guidelines emphasized giving the user all possible flexibility to perform needed functions. Consider the recent history of iTunes and watch this philosophy vanish under the mobile, life-on-the-run, instant-streaming-gratification bus. As of iTunes 12.1, the Get Info window for a track is useless for manual sorting of tracks, merging of albums, and other uses requiring managing of track metadata. Most of the metadata fields are not accessible, including track number.

This has been a gradual process over the last two years. Version 11 made the standard iTunes sidebar window a non-standard user option. Version 12.0 removed it completely, but still offered a usable Get Info window as a user option. Version 12.1 also made this disappear. Version 12.0.1 is the last usable version for me.

I removed iTunes 12.1 and reinstalled 12.0.1 from back-up. What a nuisance. I’ll remain there until Apple management changes and once again embraces the right way to do things. Why take away the power of features that have been available in a product for years? I suppose as the old tech elite at Apple move on, the newbies cluelessly remake things in their own dumbed-down image.

Note: One removes the iTunes app using the UNIX command  line interface. No surprise, new bad Apple does not allow this operation from the Finder.


Comments Welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s